Megan captured some beautiful photos of Budapest and our non-costumed Halloween weekend together in her latest blog post. 🙂 I was WOWed — the riverbanks have never looked more lovely.
Gotta run, anatomy midterm tomorrow. Second year continues to be a nonstop funfest.
Last Spring, I mentioned that Megan, one of my best and oldest friends, would be in Spain for the year, and that we hoped to see each other in our homes away from home. Well, she was able to visit for the long weekend (we both had off on Friday for All Saints’ Day) from Wednesday night until Sunday afternoon. After our crunch period of exams, it was so good to have some guilt-free relaxation.
Thursday was Halloween, and though we did didn’t do anything festive ourselves, we went out to see the nightlife and the Basilica and riverbanks illuminated. During her stay We had afternoon desserts at Gundel, cider at Spiler, chicken paprika homemade by Anna, and seafood paella at The Big Fish. It was my first time visiting the House of Terror Museum, which chronicles some of the horrific times in European History.
Megan also got to know some of my classmates here, partly by arrangement, and partly by chance meetings around Budapest. It was invigorating to see my day-to-day through her fresh perspective. The best parts were out long talks into the night 🙂 It was the best time I’ve had in a long time!
My cousin Gail arrived on Tuesday, and we have been exploring Budapest. Wednesday, on our first full day together, we saw the Opera House, Basilica, Vaci utca, Déak ter, and that general area. It was my first time up close to the Basilica, and it is beautiful! Unfortunately, the lift was broken, so I couldn’t go in. We were out during the hottest part of the day, and by the time we got back, the heat had sapped our energy. Having learned our lesson, we started out in the late afternoon yesterday (oh yeah, also because I forgot to charge my wheelchair batteries overnight. tsk tsk), and ventured to Keleti train station to buy tickets, Heroes’ Square, the City Park, and the Szechenyi baths.
“Photos or it didn’t happen!” you say … well, luckily for me, Gail is a great photographer, so I will wait for her to upload her pictures. Here are just a few:
Some other interesting sights along the way:
– a Chinese hot pot restaurant
– part of the Berlin Wall on Andrassy utca
– guys doing bike tricks on Heroes’ Square
The more I see of Budapest when visitors come, even though it’s often the same sites, the more I grow to appreciate its charm and beauty. More soon!
You don’t change the city
The city changes you
We’ve been sweating it out in the heat and doing major packing this weekend. My possessions are divided into “will need this summer” & “staying in BP”, most of them falling into the latter category so as not to lug them around for the next two months. Even though I won’t be leaving the city until the end of June, I’m putting things in storage this week at Anna’s cousin’s house. It was very kind of her to offer the space (and save me 2 months’ rent!); I hope she won’t regret it when she sees just how much STUFF I’m handing over.
Other than that, it’s been a social weekend – 3 outings in as many days! I guess I can’t claim hermit status anymore.
On Friday, I went to Gerbeaud, Budapest’s most famous café, for the first time. It’s in a beautiful part of the city teeming with tourists, and priced accordingly. Four of us shared this sampler platter:
Then, we walked around for a bit on Vaci utca before heading home. Budapest is radiant in the summer sun.
Yesterday, five of us had dinner at The Big Fish, billed as “the only restaurant in town that offers fresh seafood, made in front of you”. It was excellent, and I’m definitely planning on returning to try the paella, which was sold out (a common occurrence, apparently). The only blight on the meal was an injured pigeon in the middle of the sidewalk behind us. It had a broken leg and was trying to launch itself to a safer corner, which it ultimately did, but seeing it suffer was terrible.
There’s been an undercurrent of goodbyes as we part for the summer months, but we’ll be back at the books before we know it.
If yesterday was about a new, familiar place, then today, I’m showing you some old, familiar places that I encountered as I went around the neighborhood today taking care of errands. Better late than never! Here are some of the places I frequent … infrequently. How many Annas can you spot?!